The recent Lockdowns – to limit the spread of the coronavirus all over the world – have caused a (forced) “homeworking revolution”. Even if there were no major flare-ups or new outbreaks, many employees and employers have genuinely experienced the benefits of this working method: flexibility, time savings, and important cost savings.

As such, Benelux firms could have access to two additional and attractive talent pools:

(i) well-trained local Iberian talent who wish to work for a Benelux company, through a distance relationship.

(ii) Benelux residents willing to relocate to Spain & Portugal and to work for (their old or new) Benelux companies through a remote labour relationship. (=move their ‘home office’ or work desk)

Spain & Portugal, both have a premium telecom infrastructure as well as superb flight connections to cities like BCN, Madrid, Lisbon, Oporto, Malaga, Valencia etc.

Talent Pool Spain & Portugal

  • Substantial percentage of highly skilled professionals, with or without experience
  • Often fiscal incentives to recruit young professionals•
  • Well-trained technical profiles for bottleneck professions: IT, big data, scientific, digital marketers, finance / accountants… •
  • For this generation, less of a need to emigrate compared to 10 years ago: Spaniards and Portuguese easily get homesick in northern regions and are now enabled to continue working in their own country thanks to the current state of technology
  • Currently the talent pool is widening: often the young people are the first to lose their jobs in Spain, given the rigid labor laws (unemployment will likely go from 13.5% to 19% next year)

Quality and cost of living

This is a key driver for “relocalization” of Benelux professionals.

True, many foreigners are currently employed in high-wage countries but also with a high-cost of living ( such as England, Luxembourg, Switzerland, etc.): some will certainly consider to work remotely within a country where the quality of life is higher and the cost of living is lower (such as Spain and Portugal).

Headcount expense reduction

o   Difference in wages

o   Lower social security contributions

o   Very low tax scale for young professionals

This is a clear opportunity for Foreign companies looking for professionals, of all levels, to perform positions currently held by local people with equivalent qualifications but at a much higher wage cost. Indeed, English will become then the main operating language.